Most Nigerians had forgotten who Augustine Eguavoen is before the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
But the 56-year-old was drafted in to take charge of the Super Eagles on an interim basis, after Gernot Rohr was sacked by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Before taking on the role, Eguavoen was the NFF’s Technical Director.
At the AFCON proper, he impressed a lot of fans in the first three fixtures against Egypt, Sudan and Guinea-Bissau.
The Eagles played an expansive brand of attacking football, with the wing players given license to express themselves freely.
However, in the round of 16 clash against Tunisia, Nigeria fell short, losing 1-0 and exiting the tournament despite being crowned favourites.
Eguavoen has since stepped down and returned to his NFF job amid the clamour for him to be given the job on a permanent basis.
Before the AFCON, the federation announced Jose Peseiro as the new permanent head coach.
“He is coming to a foreign country.
“We’ve been on ground and we have to work closely. We will give him everything to make him succeed because it is country first.
“I will give him my report to study.
“I will tell him the background, the culture, how we operate here. Our philosophy and our style of football, and he will bring his own and we will look at it together and map out strategies for how we can make the country progress. Just to make sure we make him very comfortable and then he has nothing to worry about but just to grind out results,” Eguavoen told ESPN.
But the rumours now are that no deal has been signed. And if that is the case, it would make sense to hand Eguavoen the role ahead of the 2022 World Cup playoffs against Ghana.
He has already worked with the team and knows how to get them to blend well. Also, you expect he learnt his lessons from the Tunisia loss and is more aware of tactical nuances and adaptability.